What will future teenagers think of the 2010s? Not a lot, say our top scientists. The CSIRO announced today that we are currently in a deficit of cultural touchstones that can be remembered fondly.
The agency issued a stark warning of potentially dark days to come. “Only a decade ago, we used to fondly look back on times half a century ago,” said researcher Stacy Jowels. “Now, with vaporwave, we’re already paying homage to the 2000s, while our current decade languishes leaving nothing of nostalgic value for our children’s children.”
“We need an urgent stimulus to every single industry that can make something worth remembering, lest the 2010s be doomed to obscurity. We don’t want to end up leaving absolutely no impact like the 1840s or something. Do you remember the 1840s? I didn’t think so.”
The CSIRO’s findings included statistics that suggest the current decade has had one of the lowest nostalgia yields of the last century. “This is especially disappointing following the naughties, which was a treasure trove of fond memories,” says Professor Nick Dang. “The early 2000s were pre-Facebook, pre-smartphones, and commercial radio was playing OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya’ every day.”
It’s not all bad news. Jowels believes we can pull ourselves out of this slump. “Western culture encountered a similar problem in the 1930s. In a decade that included the Great Depression and the rise of the Nazi Party, it seemed like there was little culture people would actually want to remember,” says Dang. He says it was quick-thinking filmmakers who “saved the day” by releasing classics The Wizard of Oz and King Kong in 1939.
We can only hope for a similar saving grace in the final years of the 2010s, but given the current slate of feature film releases includes the eighth entry into the Fast and Furious franchise and six more superhero movies this year alone, we may not be able to rely on the entertainment industry.
“There’s still a chance someone will write a good song in the next three years, or maybe a politician we respect will be elected,” says Jowels. “At the very least, we might be remembered for man-buns.”